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Chip Makers Face Limits Beyond 45nm Process

Semiconductor makers will soon need to find a new substrate to replace the pure silicon wafers used to make chips if they are to keep pace with expected advances in chip-making technology. With each advance in manufacturing process technology, the semiconductor industry has improved its ability to produce chips that are cheaper, consume less power and offer better performance. But these advances are becoming more difficult to obtain as the geometry of chip designs gets ever smaller. Strained silicon works well with today’s most advanced processes and will continue to be used as a substrate with upcoming 65 nm and 45 nm processes, but a different substrate is required for more advanced processes. Chip companies have several years to solve these problems before they start moving beyond the 45 nm process. Intel which is introduction of advanced process technology, plans to begin producing chips using a 65 nm process this year and will begin the shift to a 45 nm process in 2007. The company plans to begin using a 32 nm process in 2009 and will move to a 22 nm process in 2011.

Semiconductor makers will soon need to find a new substrate to replace the pure silicon wafers used to make chips if they are to keep pace with expected advances in chip-making technology. With each advance in manufacturing process technology, the semiconductor industry has improved its ability to produce chips that are cheaper, consume less power and offer better performance. But these advances are becoming more difficult to obtain as the geometry of chip designs gets ever smaller. Strained silicon works well with today’s most advanced processes and will continue to be used as a substrate with upcoming 65 nm and 45 nm processes, but a different substrate is required for more advanced processes. Chip companies have several years to solve these problems before they start moving beyond the 45 nm process. Intel which is introduction of advanced process technology, plans to begin producing chips using a 65 nm process this year and will begin the shift to a 45 nm process in 2007. The company plans to begin using a 32 nm process in 2009 and will move to a 22 nm process in 2011.

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